State Treasurer Curtis Loftis issues response to $1.8Billion

“As the ‘State’s bank,’ the Treasurer’s Office is responsible for the safety, security and investment of the State’s money while it is in the bank.  

The money in question, a $1.8 billion fund arising from a statewide computer conversion, has always been accounted for by ‘the bank.’  The funds have been managed and invested in accordance with State law, and the Legislature has spent the investment earnings of approximately $250 million.

The Treasurer’s Office balances its books to outside banks, investment houses, and the accounting system of the State (SCEIS).  Our cash and investment balances are not in question.  The taxpayer’s money is safe.

Last week, an independent report commissioned by the General Assembly confirmed that the State Treasurer’s Office (STO) is in compliance with all state laws and the Treasurer’s Office has never received audit findings or recommendations from the State Auditor or external audit firms related to this fund.

South Carolina has precise laws that govern its money.  They are, in short:

  • The Comptroller General is the State’s accountant. His office sets the accounting rules, opens the funds (accounts), determines the ownership of funds, tracks expenditures and revenues, and reports the financial condition of the State to the public and the General Assembly, including what moneys can be spent and/or are available for appropriation. 
  • The State Treasurer is the State’s banker. My office manages and invests the State’s money.  We do not determine the ownership of funds as that is done BEFORE the funds come to us at “the bank”. 

The taxpayers of SC deserve to have this issue resolved.  They deserve to know that the Comptroller General’s Office will work with the Treasurer’s Office, the Department of Administration (SCEIS), outside consultants and the General Assembly. 

I ask Comptroller Brian Gaines to respond to my many requests for coordination to make our finance system stronger, not weaker.  It is time to put the rocky past of the Comptroller General’s office behind us and work together to serve the interests of the people of South Carolina.  We should be working to maintain the State’s excellent credit rating and avoid putting it at risk.

The State Treasurer’s Office will continue to work on this matter that reaches far beyond its scope and responsibilities.”